Abstract

Family firms may face several thresholds during their life cycle and one of these is succession. The majority of family firms fail to plan for generational succession at all and at a macro level and this may increase business closures. The typical family firm has traditionally been assumed to be owned and managed by a small group of family members where the firm’s objectives are closely linked to family objectives. However, there is growing recognition of the need to analyzse the behaviour of family firms from an agency perspective that takes into account that these dimensions are not necessarily homogenous or lacking in conflict. By examining aspects of information sharing and negotiation behaviour during the succession process, leading to a management buy-out, this study aims to add to the understanding of the influence of ownership, governance and firm objectives on the behaviour of private family firms at this important threshold.

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